Widely revered for his overwhelming heads and monumental sculptures, evoking themes of suffering, reconciliation, glory and sublimation, his works grace public and private collections countrywide and internationally.
“Spoken verse, the echoes of emotive lyrics and the rasping of sculptures in progress are customary sounds emitted from his studio. Larger than life, Anton Smit is the embodiment of poetry, an apt term for this sculptor, derived from the term “making“. Anton forms his own language through sculpture, the manifestation of his passion for expression and his profound faith.” -Kathleen Thomas, Art Curator -
“What distinguishes the creative person is his persistence and determination to excel.” -Rhoma Ochse
Anton collects sayings about the relationship between art and the individual artist’s experience of reality. “Art is not to render the visible but to render visible,” he asserts, and his art achieves this in many ways.
An inspiring raconteur, Anton enjoys relating tales of his struggles as a young artist. The secret to his success could be attributed to his courage and determination to forge ahead in the face of great difficulty.
“Take big risks. Don’t fret about what others think. Do the most difficult thing on earth for you – do it for yourself.” this approach paid off in spades.
“ A human being consists of the choices he makes.” -Anton Smit
“ You must care about a world you can’t see.” -Bertrand Russel
“Creation continues incessantly through the medium of man,” Anton believes. “Man himself then is mouthpiece, medium and meaning all in one, and his challenge as an artist is to create himself over and over again, finding new connotations and new concepts in given shapes, figures and faces. Man emulates and assimilates nature, producing poetry in word and form.”
Some observers have noted that this is why so many of his pieces, even the most abstract ones, manage to communicate powerfully and emotionally and why his work is possessed of a raw, earthy power that feels innately African. His body of work comprises towering human figures, nudes, impressive heads, masks, hands, angels, floating and stretching figures, warriors as well as abstract works, using mostly steel, metal, fiberglass and bronze.
Anton likes to imbue his work with an illusion of movement or gesture, bodies curling up or limbs reaching out to the onlooker, inspirational “action figures” projecting tremendous emotion, a call to movement. He works with metals and stones, also creating a unique iron and polymer cast mixture, which combines metal with several other mediums.
Anton spends and works the first three months of the year in his Cape studios in Strand and for the rest of the year in his studios at Bronkhorstspruit Dam, where he oversees a dedicated workforce of 14 people. “They are like family.”
Anton Smit in his creative prime is a force to be reckoned with.